Moving Cross Country: Destination San Francisco
We've made it to California...again.
The decision to move back across the country on such short notice was partially a defense mechanism, partially a necessity (I needed to be with my husband and his next project was outside San Fran), and partially a therapeutic escape. I can be the first to admit that I struggle to deal with heavy emotions. It’s not my prerogative to sit around and dwell on tragic news. I would rather be up doing 100 other things to distract myself from being sad. So that’s what we did.
The day after the pregnancy test, we hit the ground running. I immediately got back to working out, getting my lifting in that next morning. It had been 11 days since I’d gotten a good workout in, so I was antsy to get moving again. Afterwards, we got busy tying up loose ends in Georgia, packing up all of my belongings, selling my car, and planning out our trip.
Side note: we decided to sell my car, because Shawn’s truck was more practical to use for moving, and his company provides him with a rental car in California. Because we didn’t want to have to drive separately all the way to California, and we didn’t want to leave my car sitting, unused, for months on end, we decided to sell it. My 2019 RAV4 will be missed so much. She was the BEST car, and I can see myself buying the same car again in the future. On the bright side, it is the time to freaking sell a car if you can. We made money off that sale, which is nuts when you’re talking about selling a car. That being said, do NOT buy a car right now if you can avoid it. Imagine how much they’re charging for a used car, if they offered us over $1000 above what we owed on it. It’s probably going to cost you pretty damn close to what I paid, brand new, for that sucker. I mean, it's a nice car and all, but that's just insanity!
In order to avoid towing a trailer again, we chose to limit the amount of stuff we brought cross-country to what we could fit in the truck bed…which is basically all my Lululemon…LOL. This time, I decided to forego packing up my gym equipment, aside from a set of dumbbells and some bands, in hopes that this time I can join a gym out in California. Hopefully I don’t end up regretting this choice. We set Tucker up in the back seat with his bed, bowls, and toys. Then, we headed out to our next destination: San Francisco.
Usually, when we travel, we are basically in a rush to get where we’re going. I’m not a big fan of being in the car for long periods of time, so I just want to get it done in the shortest amount of time possible. We would log 10+ hour long driving days, just to get to where we were going sooner. This time, we chose to take the long route (~36 total hours), and we planned out several stops along the way.
Since we left later in the day on Tuesday, we only drove a few hours outside Atlanta, and stopped in Nashville. We felt like we deserved a night out to decompress, have some good food, maybe a drink or two, hear some live music, and walk around downtown. We booked a hotel right in the downtown area so we could walk to the restaurants and bars on Broadway. We got ready, and went out. Surprisingly, it was super crowded out on a Tuesday. We went to The Stillery for dinner. Their mason jar cocktails are pretty outstanding. I ordered a chopped salad with chicken, which was delicious, and Shawn got a burger and fries. After dinner, we walked around listening to music and people watching. We stopped by the Jason Aldean bar for a bit to hang out on the roof, since the weather was incredible that night. In true Tricia fashion, we headed back to the hotel before 10 o’clock. We took this picture for proof that we ACTUALLY went out:
The next morning, we woke up early so that we could workout in the hotel gym before hitting the road. Sweaty and tired, we walked to Starbucks down the street for coffee and breakfast to-go. Then, we packed up the truck again, and hit the road.
On Wednesday, we drove to Kansas City, Missouri. We picked it simply because it was about an 8 hour drive from Nashville, and it seemed like a good place to stop. We didn’t really have any memorable experiences there. We did, however, make the decision that the next day, we could book a two-day stay in Denver. If you’ve done any reading of my past blogs, you know how much we love Denver. We absolutely want to buy property somewhere in that area one day in the near future. We are just waiting on the right timing. Anyways, we thought it would be perfect, since we needed to kill some time before our Sunday check-in for our hotel in California. We could spend some time in our favorite city, and plan a hike for Friday morning. I was beyond excited.
One of my absolutely favorite things about Denver is the FOOD. One of my go-tos is a place called Modern Market. I love them so much that I ate there both nights we were there. They have the best salads, the best bowls, the best meat, it’s just so great. I’ve never eaten something there that I didn’t like. I wish they would expand to more cities around the US, because it’s that good. I love that they have sustainably raised meats, high quality ingredients, a large variety of vegetable offerings, and that it’s essentially a fast food option for people who care about what they’re putting into their body. I can’t say enough good things about it.
We planned our hike for the next morning in Boulder, since we were staying on the east side of Denver, and Boulder was only about a 20 minute drive away. We actually didn’t do any hikes in the Boulder area when we stayed here before, so I was excited to explore the area. We chose to hike Bear Peak, since it was dog friendly, was rated as difficult on AllTrails, and seemed to have some pretty epic views. We were not disappointed.
I will say, that this hike was a rude (re)awakening to how much harder the hikes out west are compared to the hikes back east. Even with the same ratings, a difficult hike in Colorado is about 10 times harder than a “difficult” hike back in Georgia. Even Tucker was zonked by the end of this hike, and he’s fitter than all of us. Someone on the AllTrails app had mentioned that she felt like she was on the stair master for two hours during this hike, and she was NOT lying. There were times where we were climbing straight up. My butt, hamstrings, and calves were on FIRE. It felt so great to be out there again, though. I’ll take all the soreness to be hiking like that all the time again, hands down.
Colorado is just freaking beautiful.
Also, there were so many rocks on this hike, and this guy handled it like a rock climbing pro.
I felt like being out in the mountains, spending that time with Shawn, talking about what we had just been through…it was just what we needed. I feel like I was finally ready to let it all go. I didn’t need to feel angry or cheated or upset or sad anymore. I think that hike was freeing for me. By the time we got to the top of that mountain, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest, and I could finally breathe again. We were optimistic about moving forward in our journey, and we were ready to take on the next steps together. I also felt like my eyes were suddenly forced wide open, and I was overcome with this overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything I have right in front of me. I mean look at this incredible beauty that we get to experience. We are so blessed to be able to travel around the country and experience things we never would have done, had it not been for the opportunities presented through Shawn’s work. We have an incredible support system of family and friends, who had been, and continue to be, by our sides, through the good and the bad, cheering us on, lifting us up, and loving us through it all. And we have each other. I couldn’t ask for a better partner to go through all of this with. Shawn is absolutely incredible. He’s been my support, my person to vent to, the one I look to for comic relief, the person who makes me believe that it will all be ok in the end, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
So once again, I fell in love with Colorado. There’s just something about it that makes everything feel right.
We left Colorado feeling refreshed and ready to get back on the road towards California. On Saturday, we decided to drive through Salt Lake City, into a city called Wendover, which sits right on the Utah/Nevada border. The hotel we picked was right down the road from a group of Casinos. Why not try our luck on some slots while we were there? When in Rome, am I right?
So we booked a dinner at a nice steak house inside of the Rainbow Casino, which kind of sounds contradictory, but listen, we were just as shocked as you are. It was, actually, really fancy. I was in a dress and I felt underdressed. The food was amazing. I ordered a filet, vegetables, and a salad, and I enjoyed everything. We also ordered this bacon appetizer that was drizzled with this raspberry glaze. I mean, it was unreal. It felt good to have a nice dinner after eating on the road for the past several days.
After dinner, we walked into the casino and sat down at some slot machines. The plan was to each play through $20 and when we lost, we lost, and we’d be on our way. My luck was shit. I basically played through my $20 in about 5 minutes, but Shawn’s machine was hitting pretty well. I stopped playing and just watched and cheered him on for a while, until he decided to cash out and change machines. I chose a couple other machines right down the row from where we had been, and again, my machine was sucking ass, while Shawn’s was hitting like crazy. He ended up playing up to around $65, before he decided to cash out. Meanwhile, I kept hitting the button and losing over and over until I was out of the original $20 and had to put in another 20. When I had played my second $20 down to about $14, I told Shawn to put it in his machine instead. After doing that, we started hitting over and over and over. We played all the way up to just over $70, before the machine started going cold, and we ended up cashing out at $60. So we had doubled our money, and made the decision to get the heck out of there. It had been a blast. Also, is this our luck turning around???
We got a good night’s sleep, and hit the road bright and early the next day, towards our final destination. The hotel we rented (that had to be dog friendly) ended up being in Fairfield, California, which sits about an hour outside of San Francisco. After a final push through that last 8 hour drive, we pulled up to our hotel, and our temporary home until we find an apartment closer to San Francisco.
The cool thing about this area is that it sits right outside Napa Valley. And since I’m not pregnant, why not explore the area and do a couple wine tastings while we’re here?? Bright sides. If you have any Napa must see or dos, please hit a girl up! So wine drinking, probably some hiking, and exploring is the plan this weekend, sprinkled with some apartment hunting as well. We are planning to look for places either in the Concord or Walnut Creek areas. Again, let me know if you have any inside info for us! I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!